As young children, we live in the moment. We have tantrums, we cry, we laugh, we say what we think and we express how we feel. We are selfish at a young age and we haven’t yet started to adhere to many of society’s restrictions.
As an adult, we have spent most of our lives being inculcated with ideals and told how we should behave or live our lives. We're constantly given expectations to live up to which can often make us feel inadequate, unsuccessful or insecure, so we become too afraid to be our true selves. We also have more and more responsibilities as we grow up which can create more worry and pressure, with less time to focus on the things that makes us truly happy.
To protect our mental wellbeing, it’s important to make time for ourselves and remember how it feels to be young, carefree and happy again. Just because we have responsibilities, it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and make time for relaxation. Studies have shown that by being in touch with our inner child, we can heal issues in our adult life.
Think of all the time we spend watching television, scrolling through social media or cleaning the house – surely, we can take back some of that time and remember how good it feels to be young and carefree.
10 ways to release your inner child
- Let your creative side run wild. Get out some paints and paper (or buy some if you don’t have any) and let loose with your imagination. Who cares what the end result looks like? It’s all about enjoying the process and how it makes us feel.
- Don’t wait for the sun to come out to go for a walk. Put your wellies on and get out in the rain. Remember how it smells, sounds and feels.
- Go to the park and take a few of your favourite childhood snacks to enjoy while you're there. You could even try making a daisy chain!
- Play some music from your childhood and get lost in the memories and feelings of nostalgia.
- Do something spontaneous. Don’t plan anything but when the mood takes you, just throw caution to the wind and do it.
- Read your favourite childhood book and remember why it was so magical and why you felt a connection with the characters.
- Build a den in your garden or home or revisit somewhere that used to make you feel safe in your own little world. Perhaps there was a certain tree that you used to climb, or you could visit the neighbourhood you grew up in. If you can't visit in person, why not visit it on Google maps?
- Spend time with friends and have fun (you can do this online or in person depending on the restrictions in place). Make a rule not to talk about anything serious and just be silly and laugh.
- Write a letter to your younger self. Tell them about all the wonderful experiences you’ve had and give them some insightful advice from the older you.
- Play a game with your partner or friend. You can probably still buy most games that you had when you were younger either in a toy shop or online.